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tv   1944 Film A Challenge to Democracy  CSPAN  February 21, 2017 10:47pm-11:09pm EST

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america less strong and more fareful. >> nominee for medicaid and medicare service at her confirmation hearing. >> i am extremely humbled to be sitting before this committee after being nominated by the it president of the united states. it is a testament to the fact that the american dream is very much alive for those willing to work for it. >> all cspan programs are available on our home page or by searching the video library. >> each week american history tv's reel america brings you films that help tell the story of the 20th century. on february 19th, 1942 president franklin roosevelt issued executive order 9066 leading to
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internment of over 100,000 people who lived ton west coast of the u.s. about 62% of the interns were american citizens. a challenge to democracy from 1944 is a 20 minute war relocation which attempted to justify the authority and living conditions in the camps. some times admitting there were
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problems. >> their evacuations was ordered to reduce a military hazard at a time when danger of invasions was great. two-thirds are american citizens by right of birth. the rest are their japanese born parents and grandparents. they are not prisoners. they are not internees. they are merely discllocated people. the time, spring and summer of 1942. the place, ten different relocation centers in unsettled parts of arizona, california, idaho, wyoming, colorado and arkansas. the row location centers are supervised by the war relocation authority which assumes
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responsibility after they have been evacuatied and cared for b the army. the row location center, housing 7 to 18,000 people. barracks type buildings. 12 or 14 residents buildings along with a mess hall, and recreation hall. the entire community bounded by a wire fence and guarded by military police. symbols of the military nature of the evacuation. each family upon arrival was assigned to a single room compartment about 20x25 feet. baron, unattractive, a stove, a light bulb, cots, mattresses, and blankets. those were the things provided by the government. the family's owning furniture was in storage on the west coast. scrap lumber, perhaps some
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wallboard and a great deal of energy, curtains, pictures, drapes, depending on the family's own ingenuity and taste helped make the space livable. some built partitions, others took what they received and made the best of it. the 300 or so residents of each block eat in a mess hall. the food is nourishing, but simple. a maximum of 45 cents per day per person is allowed for food. the actual cost is considerably less than this. a combination of oriental dishes to meet the taste of the esay born in japan and american type dishes to satisfy those born in america. lands that were never occupied or farmed were chosen for most
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of the relocation centers. most of the land was covered with desert growth or timber in case of the arkansas centers. it had to be cleared before farming could start, and it had to be leveled. and irrigation ditches laid out or rebuilt in order that the people could produce a part of their own food. then came the plowing, and preparation of the soil and planting. a few of the centers had crops in 1942. in 1943 all of them. about half of the evacuated people were farm folks. skilled producers of vegetables, fruits and other crops. they had made desert land productive before, and around the relocation centers they could and did do it again. at the two centers in arkansas they introduced western type irrigation, and produced
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vegetables in the heat of mid summer. tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, corn, melon and many other crops had been grown on a land that a year or two ago was unproductive. food production is aimed at self-support, it does not go on to the open market. from the field it goes to the center warehouse, from there it may go to the kitchen or it may be shipped to other centers. the arizona centers are most productive in winter. the others produce only in summer or fall. so vegetable crops are exchanged. besides the workers engaged in farming, it takes many others to handle food. in the warehouses, in transportation, in the kitchen. to keep the rolling equipment, trucks, cars and tractors in operation, it takes mechanics and machinists. water mains have to be laid and repaired. roads, sanitation systems and
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buildings have to be maintained. at the arkansas center, the land is covered with trees and the clearing process provides lumber for construction and firewood for heating. those who work are paid wages by outside standards are low, $12 a month for beginners. $16 a month for most of the workers. and $19 for professional people such as doctors and others unskilled or difficult work. the workers receive a small cash allowance for clothing. the money received in wages allows the evacuees to buy what is not provided by the government. a cooperative business association provides merchandise that would be needed in any community. they run barber shops, beauty power lowers, shoe repair shops and other services for the
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community when the school bell rings, it's a signal for these students to change classes. the school curriculum meets the standard of the state where the center is located. mathematics, american history, geography, the nund amtales of an american education. this is a class in mathematics. and a rhythm class of fifth grade pupils. in the modern school, many subjects are added to reading, writing and arithmetic. some of the teachers are caucasians. some are evacuees. the first graders in this class taught by an evacuee teacher are making colored drawings which will decorate the walls of their barracks classrooms. in the high school vocational
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training gets attention. and older boys are learning trades. they use them first as part of the regular work of the relocation center. as welders, mechanics, machinists. frequently learning to do the necessary jobs in a relocation center have led to better jobs outside health protection is part of the provided services by the government. dentists of course u lifts and pharmacists also. the japanese professional men and women had their own practices on the west coast before evacuation. many are now in the army medical corps and others have replaced doctors and others outside the center. it's about like that of any other american community in wartime. barely adequate.
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a community council of evacuees is elected to make rules and regulations. anyone 18 years old or older is eligible to vote in the election. which are carried on in the democratic manner a judicial commission sits on minor "fences. a serious crime would be tried in the regular courts outside the center. the people of japanese ancestry in the united states always has been extremely low. and has proved to be the case in the centers. over weekends, a relocation center is the scene of baseball and softball games by the dozen. the teams are counted by the hundreds. the evacuees have provided practically all of their equipment.
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in the fall, touch football is in season. the relocation centers include many well known artists. amateur and professional artists have used their spare time in creating beauty and many different forms. sunday church services. advanced preparations, include carrying the benches into the barracks building. most of the alien japanese are booted. almost half their american born children belong to some christian denomination. catholics, meth lift, presbyterian, except for emperor worship, there is no restriction on religion in relocation centers. boy scouts who usually provide the color guard for the american flag which floats over the center, are typical of the american organization which are prominent in each relocation center. there's a uso club to provide entertainment for the japanese american soldiers who come to
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the center to visit their families, their friends. girl scouts, camp fire girls, parent teacher associations, the red cross, the evacuees belong to these organizations in their former homes and transplanted them to the centers. the boy scout drum and bugel core is leading a harvest festival parade. everyone turns out. and to join in the good time that goes with the full day of celebrati celebration. >> while they have many things in common with the american communities, relocation centers are not normal and probably never can be. home life is disrupted. eating, living and working conditions are abnormal. training of children is difficult. americanism taught in the schools and truchs.
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when the war relocation authority was only a few months old. it was decided that relocation centers should not be maintained any longer than necessary. the first people to leave the relocation centers were volunteer workers to harvest the sugar beet crop. the result of their labors was a year's sugar ration for about 10 million people. but work in the beet fields was temporary. most of the people returned to the centers. the war relocation authority has been more concerned with permanent relocation. getting the evacuees out of the back waters of the relocation centers into the mainstream of american life. so their labor can help to win the war. so the cost of the taxpayers may be reduced, so there can be no question of the
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constitutionality of any part of the action taken by the government to meet the dangers of war. so no law abiding american need to fear for his own freedom. relocation of the evacuees is not being carried on at the sacrifice of national security. only those evacuees whose statements and whose acts leave no question of their loyalty to the united states are permitted to leave. all information available from intelligence agencies is considered in determining whether or not each individual is eligible to leave. those who are not eligible to leave have been moved to one center to live presumably for the duration of the war. others are free to go whenever they like. thousands already have gone. kenneth used to operate his own
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orchard in holliser, california. machine work was a hobby, now it's his job. he's making precision parts for american bombers. masaco was a supervisor of nurses she has three brothers, all in the army. evacuated to the tully lake center. this young machinist learned his trade since he relocated to chicago. he's helping to make kitchen equipment. he paints miniature dolls in a studio. in the background is cecilia miamoto who divides her time now
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between working and attending college. kay feeds the chickens on an illinois farm. >> they cultivate potatoes on a farm in the middle west. this is ruth nishi. her father ran a fruit stand. she moved to chicago and has become a skillful lathe opera r operator. this boy liked the printing trade, but had no chance to learn it until after he had left the relocation center. he's helping print some of the nation's supply of magazines american eggs are shipped all over the world. mary breaks eggs which are to be
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dried. and in the same plant, john feeds the drying machine. jim used to be a clerk in california. now he's a candymaker in chicago. american flags, some of them for the armed forces are turned up by mrs. abe she hopes one of the flags she makes may be carried in triumph down the streets of tokyo. the produce business used to be home to these boys. now they're in the produce business in denver. from the jerome relocation center, he moved to the middle west to make marshmallows. artificial lake doesn't interfere with the way he handles the pitchfork this young
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fellow is typical of the evacuees who are getting along with their fellow workers. finding satisfaction and become self-supporting once more. the americanism of the great majority of america's japanese, nineds the highest expression in the thousands of almost half of them are in the japanese american combat team. some of the volunteers came from hawaii, some from the eastern united states mainland. volunteers to fight against the militarism and the pressure of japan and germany. they know what they're fighting against and fighting for their country an for the american ideals that are part of their upbringing.
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democracy, freedom, regardless of race, creed or ancestry. the civil liberties act of 1988 signed by president ronald reagan provided reparations of $20,000 to each surviving detainee, formally acknowledged that executive order 9066 was unjust, and apologized on behalf of the american people. so which presidents were america's greatest leaders? c-span recently asked 91 presidential historians to rate
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our 43 presidents in ten areas of leadership. top billing this year went to the president who preserved the union, abraham lincoln. he's held the top spot for all three c-span historian surveys. three other top vote getters, george washington, franklin roosevelt and theodore roosevelt. dwight eisenhower makes his first appearance in the c-span top five this year. rounding out the top ten choices, harry truman, thomas jefferson, jfk and ronald reagan. lyndon johnson jumps up one spot this year to return to the top ten. james buchanan is ranksed dead last in all three c-span surveys. there's bad news for andrew jackson as well. he found his overall rating dropping this year, from number 13 to number 18.
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the survey had good news for outgoing president, barack obama. he was placed at number 12 overall. george w. bush moved three spots up to 33 overall. with big gains in public persuasion and relations with congress. how did our historians rate your favorite president you can find all this and more on our website at roger shimamura and his family were detained in idaho. later in life, he became an artist whose work focuses on issues such as ethnicity, race, and the japanese american experience throughout the 20th century. an excerpt of


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